Magazine article USA TODAY

New Biotech Fruit Called Pesticide by EPA

Magazine article USA TODAY

New Biotech Fruit Called Pesticide by EPA

Article excerpt

A proposed Environmental Protection Agency action plan that would, for the first time ever, require a new biotech crop to be labeled as a pesticide has been condemned by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Washington, D.C. In approving the new plum variety, which has been bioengineered to resist virus infection, the EPA proposes to regulate trees, cuttings, and fruit from virus-resistant plants under Federal pesticide laws and label them as containing a "plant incorporated protectant."

"The EPA has already concluded this plant and fruit are perfectly safe for humans and the environment," points out CEI senior fellow Gregory Conko. "Treating a mere plum as a pesticide would needlessly spread consumer confusion and add burdensome regulations on nurseries that sell the trees, farmers who grow them, and retailers who sell the fruit."

The EPA has regulatory authority over crop plants bioengineered to produce substances that kill or repel pests, but virus-resistant crops do not produce pesticidal substances, so the agency never before has regulated them under pesticide laws. …

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